The deliberate crippling of children.
The first man and woman to get "bionic" arms demonstrated the devices. After losing your arm, your brain thinks the nerves that went to the arm still operate it. Surgeons attach the stumps of these nerves to expendable muscle in your chest. Then they wire the muscle to your prosthetic arm by electrodes. Result: When your brain tells the arm to move, the chest muscle twitches, and the electrodes make the arm move. The Department of Defense is funding the technology. Approved spin: This will be great for the 400 soldiers who lost limbs in Iraq. Unapproved spin: or we could just pull out and let soldiers keep the arms they were born with. (For Human Nature's previous update on prosthetic limbs, click here. For military-funded sensory enhancement devices, click here.)
Latest Human Nature columns: 1) Is eugenics better than sex? 2) Buried alive in your own skull. 3) The global explosion of fat. 4) The case for genital mutilation. 5) The liquid world of terrorism. 6) The deluded bubble of air conditioning. 7) Stop killing meat and start growing it. 8) The war on tanning.
Will Saletan covers science, technology, and politics for Slate and says a lot of things that get him in trouble.